A Truly Fabulous Launch Event.

Saturday marked the start of our Spring Dance Festival – with our Launch Event. Claire, Euton, Charlotte, and our volunteers arrived early on a very chilly Saturday morning to set up, do sound checks and generally get the performance area organised.

None of this would be possible without our fantastic director, Claire Thompson,

on the right – the heart of Dancin’ Oxford

As we mentioned in our Behind the Scenes blog post, this year, we didn’t have a big stage, so marked out the performance area with branded Dancin’ Oxford bunting.  Thankfully there were no major disasters and everything went smoothly.

Our assistant production manager, Charlotte,

who stepped into the role of MC at the last minute.

Shout out to our assistant producer, Charlotte, for stepping into the role of MC at the very last minute! Right on the dot of 2.30pm, we kicked off with an extraordinary performance by the students at Step 2 Dance School.  Their high energy performance was absolutely riveting and their synchronisation was super impressive.  It was so wonderful to watch all that talent on display!

The talented performers of Step 2 Dance.

Next up, we had TPD Young Artists, which is the youth company of Thomas Page Dances – a contemporary dance company based in Oxford.  The piece, which Thomas told us the dancers choreographed themselves, was highly professional and expressive.  Absolutely incredible work!

The fab TPD Dances Young Company

The next act were the break dancers from Oxford Breaking – showcasing break dance at all levels from complete beginner to professional standard.  Another high energy, joyous performance!

Headspin by performers from Oxford Breaking!

The show then took a different turn with our Zumba Spring Fiesta – an hour of Zumba dance class, taught by George Martini and some other of Oxford’s most popular Zumba dance teachers. Our marketing person, Catherine nipped out to get a sandwich at this point, and came back to find a good proportion of the audience dancing along!  Thanks to all the Zumba teachers for all that positive energy!

Oxford’s fab Zumba teachers

It still hadn’t warmed up and it was pretty chilly! Poor Euton’s hands were like ice.  Nevertheless, he held up like a hero and there were no glitches with the music, volume or equipment.  Everything was super smooth – just like Euton himself!

After the Zumba Spring Fiesta, we were lucky to have The Remarkable Dance Company, a very special dance company for people over 50s directed by choreographer Luca Braccia.  This was such a meditative and elegant piece; it was a beautiful contrast to the previous acts.

Finally, the audience were wowed with the fantastically talented dancers of the Messy Jam Dance School.  We’re not exaggerating when we say that audience was completely mesmerised by the energy, and skill which each of the dancers brought to the performance area.  The dancers ranged from tiny little ones to teenagers – and all of them were brilliant!

Dancers from Messy Jam Dance School

Our audience counter tells us that around 2000 people watched the launch event.  So many of you told us that this year’s launch event felt friendlier and more accessible than last year’s!  We’re so happy to hear this as we were worried that not having the big stage would make the event feel less special.  But everyone’s reaction was fantastic!

The Remarkable Dance Company artistic director, Luca Braccia, and assistant production manager, Charlotte.

We want to thank everyone for coming along, and also to our very special long term volunteers Marilyn and Barbara for supporting us and seeing Dancin’ Oxford through thick and thin.  We can’t quite express how grateful we are to have your support!

The fabulous Marilyn and Barbara – thank you!

There are still lots of events on for the Spring Dance Festival – so please have a look here and see what catches your fancy!

We look forward to seeing you at any one of the fab events over the next week!

❤️

The Dancin’ Oxford Team

March 4, 2024